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But what is common to both the global North and South is the threat to democratic institutions and processes.In this commentary, I address some of these gaps and reflect on how interdisciplinary process-thinking may result in a paradigm shift in how we think about policy.To these, I propose adding a fourth paradigm that is more shaped by political and social theory, intersecting with and also complementing the three dominant approaches.
It is much more cognizant of market failure and convinced of the ability of the social sciences to inform policy solutions that deal with market failure.
With policies informed by growth models that emphasize investments in physical and human capital, growth is still a priority, but with an awareness of the central role played by ideas and information.
Rational-choice methodological individualism is not easily reconciled with notions of social exclusion or cultural and political inequality.
Thus, any argument for socially driven policy-making – to promote gender equality or social cohesion, for instance – within a neoliberal paradigm has to be filtered through a growth prism.
Note that the neoliberal paradigm, by focusing on core principles rather than policy proposals, is primarily process-driven, rather than driven by outcomes.
However, the processes are largely devoted to creating an environment for prosperity rather than economic equality., is a counter to the perceived limitations of neoliberalism.There is acute awareness of the inability of markets to deliver basic services to the poor and of systemic discrimination.Poverty is still a welfarist metric, but along with data on income and consumption, household surveys now collect data on gender, religion, race, and caste to enable analyses of discrimination.Several important themes emerge from this lens: 1) the interaction between economic, social, and cultural processes in generating inequality and the centrality of the need for interdisciplinary analysis; 2) four approaches through which inequality-generating processes might work – evaluation, quantification, commodification, and policy drift; 3) the linkages between micro-, meso-, and macrolevels of analysis; and 4) the importance, in thinking of inequality-generating processes, of taking a Moreover, they are based on an analysis of conditions in North America and Western Europe, where the concern is much more on the shift, over the last few decades, from equality-generating to inequality-generating processes.This is different from the conditions in countries that are home to most of the world’s poor, whose rise in inequality has been coupled with large reductions in poverty and relative expansions of social safety nets over the last two decades.Over the last century, the policy options available have tended to focus on what I call An outcome-policy focuses on manipulating the levers of government – taxes, expenditures, regulations, systems of implementation – to achieve certain outcomes.The success of the policy is judged by those outcomes.Hence the slew of papers from the 1990s on the positive effects of women’s education and social capital on growth.7Welfare is measured through either an income metric or consumption metric.This has spawned a large industry measuring individual- and household-level income and consumption through household surveys, which are then used to calculate poverty rates via a poverty line defined in terms of dollars and cents.It derives from a worldview that is methodologically individualistic with the central goal of ensuring that markets function as efficiently as possible.Individual freedoms are central to the approach, and democratic accountability through elections is a crucial counterpoint to market efficiency.